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Mole crickets prompt officials to move Florida high school football game

A bug problem has ruined the football field at a Florida high school, prompting this week’s game to be played elsewhere.

Friday's game at Satellite High School in Brevard County against Eau Gallie High School was moved to Melbourne High School.

Officials said the problems were caused by mole crickets, a common turf grass pest.

The school district said it saw signs of the mole crickets in the spring and they did a preventative treatment.

Over the summer, the school installed new track and sprinklers were shut off.

>> Read more trending news

Parents in the Touchdown Club, a booster group for the football team, said they expressed concerns about doing that so close to football season.

They said they saw brown spots on the field last month. A turf expert from a golf course came out to look at it and said it's the worst case of mole crickets he had ever seen, parents said.

“My heart breaks, and I feel bad for the senior football players. (They) played in this program for four years and potentially might not have a home game,” said parent Bert Gamin.

The district said by that point, there were adult mole crickets that are very hard to get rid of and more treatments failed. The non-native insects tunnel underground and eat the roots and shoots of the grass. The district said the field was too dangerous for a game, so the game had to be moved. The district has been rolling out new dirt so they can, at some point, try to grow new grass.

Next week, there is another home game. The plan is to play on an all-dirt field, district officials said.

Take a look at this $72M high school football stadium in Katy, Texas

A new $72 million high school football stadium is ready for kickoff this season in Katy, Texas.

>> Watch the news report here

The 12,000-seat Legacy Stadium is the most expensive high school football stadium ever built and will be shared by eight local high schools. It boasts a massive video screen, huge locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands.

>> Read more trending news

The stadium was voted on and paid for by taxpayers in the area, according to NBC News.

“It’s something that this community wanted,” Katy ISD superintendent Lance Hindt told KTRK. “I don’t think the cost was anything that they really looked into.”

The stadium’s first game is slated for Aug. 31.

– Rare.us contributed to this report.

High school football star practicing with ankle monitor, booted from practice

A South Florida high school student, who is facing a felony charge, will not be allowed to take part in spring football practice while wearing an ankle monitor after school officials read a newspaper story about it online.

A judge’s order had allowed Shelley Singletary to participate in spring practices, as well as attend classes at Boca Raton High School, and the 18-year-old apparently was set to practice Monday in the team’s first season practice.

>> Read more trending news

But hours after a story on Singletary was published, Boca Raton High principal Susie King informed the school’s football staff that Singletary could not take part in any team functions until his criminal court case is resolved.

School officials apparently were not aware that Singletary had been cleared to practice until they read the story by the Palm Beach Post.

>> Related: Father of NFL hopeful killed in south Florida

Singletary, 18, is accused of a robbery in January during which he allegedly forcibly removed an 11-year-old’s Air Jordan sneakers and tried to steal his bicycle.

Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer modified the terms of Singletary’s house arrest on March 16 allowing him to practice, but only if he wears an ankle monitor.

“The student has been cleared by a judge to participate in activities,” according to a statement released by the Palm Beach County School District. “However, he has not been cleared by Boca Raton Community High School to practice or be part of the school’s football team. At this time, he is in no way affiliated with the team or the spring season.”

Singletary, who will be a junior in the next school year, will be allowed to continue attending classes.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

Singletary, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back and defensive back, is ranked by MaxPreps, a college football recruiting website, as the state’s No. 193 prospect.

The University of Kentucky has reportedly offered Singletary a football scholarship for 2018, according to 24/7 Sports, but NCAA rules prohibit schools from publicly discussing recruits until they sign letters of intent.

Singletary could not be reached for comment.

Court records show that his next court appearance is scheduled for June 19.

Baseball coach hits home run with social media plea for equipment

A Virginia high school baseball team in desperate need of equipment finally got the help they needed.

John Marshall High School coach Brent Butler told local TV station WTVR that his team needed essential equipment, like gloves, cleats and bats. 

>> Read more trending news

He said he’s seen his team make big strides in recent weeks, but now they need equipment.

The committed coach got so desperate he said that he took to Facebook to ask the community for donations.

“It’s been really beneficial so far,” said Butler because donations are starting to trickle in.

WTVR stepped up to the plate, too, and presented the coach with a gift of $500.

“We know you have gotten some things and that helps, but we wanted to help as well,” WTVR reporter Lane Casadonte said. 

Butler said he was caught off guard and surprised by the gift.

“This is going to be really beneficial… I thought you guys were here for the weather!” Butler joked.

 

College football recruiting? There’s a country song for that

College football national signing day is near, and that can only mean one thing: Drama.

So rather than try to figure out which experts to listen to, why not turn to those who know drama best: Country music singers.

Here are eight songs that describe college football recruiting perfectly:

“15,” Taylor Swift 

While many recruiting decisions used to be made during a prospect’s senior year, early commits have become more the rule than the exception over the past decade. 

Coaches have also begun handing out offers earlier and earlier in an effort to make the first impression on a future star. Because after all who can dispute that “when you’re 15 and somebody tells you they love you, you’ve gotta believe them”?

How Do You Like Me Now? Toby Keith 

This might be the most common story you hear about after signing day.

Everyone who gets passed over by their local school loves to come back and stick it to them when they get the chance — Remember Ryan Brewer, Ohio State fans? 

“Unanswered Prayers,” Garth Brooks 

But sometimes recruiting is as much about who you don’t sign as who you get.

One year’s can’t-miss prospect could be next year’s troublesome presence in the locker room -- or name on the police blotter -- so there are times fans will ultimately count their blessings in ways they don’t expect. 

(Garth honorable mentions: “Shameless,” “The Dance,” and, of course, “Friends In Low Places”)

Dancing Away with My Heart,” Lady Antebellum 

On the bright side, the players who don’t pan out (and don’t get the program in trouble with the law or the NCAA), have name recognition that will last forever. 

At least among hard-core fans and recruiting wonks, those players “will always be 18 — and beautiful. And dancing away with (their) heart(s).”

You Never Even Call Me By My Name,” David Allen Coe 

Our area is home to one well-known case of mistaken identity, but the story of Curtis Enis of Mississinawa Valley being misidentified in recruiting correspondence seems to be an issue that repeats itself from time to time.

Any little thing can get you crossed off a prospect’s list, so never underestimate the importance of proofreading.

Is Someone Else Calling You Baby?” Luke Bryan

This one might be self-explanatory but just in case: It’s common place for players who commit to continue to be recruited by many other schools.

That inevitably leads to a lot of anxiety for fans (and if they’re willing to admit it coaches, too) starting to think, “If you’re over my love, lay it on my heart, don’t try and save me…”

Bless the Broken Road,” Rascal Flatts 

Hey, spin is important. Sometimes coaches don’t get their first choice, and power programs are often lucky to have other big-time prospects waiting for offers when they get turned down by that five-star from across the country.

“Others who broke my heart? They were like northern stars… ”

Whatever works, right?

“Close Enough to Perfect,” Alabama 

Continuing with that theme, no coach has ever put together a class he didn’t say he loved on signing day. 

Whether that group is ranked No. 1 or 100, it is just full of guys the staff is ecstatic about even if they acknowledge nobody signs everyone they want.

Or, yeah, we just needed to make sure “Alabama” was mentioned somewhere in any recruiting story. 

(Hey, we resisted the urge to do a list solely of songs by George Strait, Johnny Cash or Taylor Swift. What more do you want?)

Florida prep football team gives signed helmet to No. 1 fan

Members of a Florida high school football team surprised their No. 1 fan with a Christmas gift.

Andrew Hayne is a special needs student at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel. The 18-year-old has been friends with Bulls quarterback Chris Faddoul since middle school, BayNews9 reported. Faddoul would let Hayne wear his No. 14 jersey on Fridays before Wesley Chapel games, and after the Bulls’ completed a 7-3 season, Faddoul wanted to do something special for his friend.

The quarterback got his teammates to sign a Wiregrass Ranch helmet, and he gave it to Hayne just before the Christmas break.

"He never had the chance to go out on the actual field and put on a actual helmet or pads or anything," Faddoul told BayNews9.

>> Read more trending stories

The helmet had the inscription “To our No. 1 fan,” and even included the name “Fadoodle,” which is what Hayne calls the senior quarterback, who threw for 892 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2016 season.

Hayne responded with a hug for Faddoul, who said “We love you, buddy, Merry Christmas.” Hayne then tried on the helmet and immediately went into a three-point stance.

“Feels good, I feel tough,” Hayne says in the video.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Andrew receives a great Christmas presentThis is wonderful. Wiregrass Ranch student Chris Faddoul and the Bulls football team gave their number one fan, Andrew, the Christmas present of a lifetime. They gave him an autographed football helmet from the team. Merry Christmas!Posted by Pasco County Schools on Friday, December 23, 2016

Florida high school football team gives signed helmet to No. 1 fan

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Andrew receives a great Christmas presentThis is wonderful. Wiregrass Ranch student Chris Faddoul and the Bulls football team gave their number one fan, Andrew, the Christmas present of a lifetime. They gave him an autographed football helmet from the team. Merry Christmas!Posted by Pasco County Schools on Friday, December 23, 2016

Ohio student with MD scores touchdown on senior night

An Ohio high school senior with muscular dystrophy scored a touchdown for the varsity football team Friday night while remaining in his wheelchair.

>> Read more trending stories

Connor Williams has been a special captain with the Valley View High School varsity football team in Germantown since his freshman year. Being confined to a wheelchair has never stopped his love of Spartans football.

Williams has served in several capacities for the football team, from water boy to team manager. Friday night was senior night, and he was given the chance to be a player.  After receiving a varsity letter and a football signed by the players and cheerleaders, Williams took a lateral from running back Collin Gensinger, who had caught a short pass from quarterback Collin Wood. Williams then piloted his wheelchair down the right sideline for a special touchdown.

“To be out there and get to do it with the other kids who have always treated him just like anybody else, it’s been great to him,” said Williams’ father, Ty. “I mean it’s just an honor.”

Williams’ mother, Kimberly, said Connor will stay in school until he’s 21 to continue his therapy and his education.

“I’m just beaming with joy,” she said. “I always wanted to see him on the field and luckily, we were able to do it. It was the best thing.”

Valley View improved to 9-1 Friday night, defeating Eaton 41-22 as the Spartans won their fifth straight game.

Black high school football player allegedly attacked with noose in Mississippi

The NAACP is calling for a federal investigation following an alleged noose attack at Stone County High School in Wiggins, Mississippi.

A black high school student said he was attacked by multiple students before football practice on Oct. 13. The white students reportedly placed a noose around the black student’s neck and “yanked backward,” according to ESPN.com. John Feaster, the football coach at Stone County, told ESPN.com that only one individual was involved in the incident – not a group – and that player is no longer with the team.

>> Read more trending stories

However, Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, said the victim's parents have not been told of any disciplinary action taken against the students responsible.

The principal at Stone County and representatives from the school district declined to comment, but Feaster told ESPN that it’s “sad” there are still things like this happening in 2016.

“”Trust me. I understand. I’m an African-American male, and I was born and raised in Mississippi,” Feaster said. “It’s sad that something like this happens in 2016. I just pray we can get it together.”

(h/t Complex)

This is what football can do to a child's brain after just one season

The results of a new study may have some parents rethinking whether they allow their children to play football.

>> Watch the news report here

Three million children in the U.S. play in tackle football programs. While many doctors and scientists have taken a look at the impact of concussions, new research by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center studied the impact of less-serious blows to the head that are common during games.

The study included 25 players between the ages of 8 and 13 and was centered on a youth program in Winston-Salem, N.C. Each boy was outfitted with a helmet that measured the severity and frequency of head blows.

“This is important, particularly for children, because their brains are undergoing such rapid change, particularly in the age category from maybe 9 to 18. And we just don’t know a lot of about it,” Dr. Chris Whitlow, a lead researcher, told NBC News.

Researchers say their findings indicated that even at this young age, the boys were receiving pretty hard hits.

The doctors then performed MRIs on the players and determined there were some changes in the brain’s white matter, the tissue that connects the gray matter of the brain.

“We have detected some changes in the white matter,” Whitlow said. “And the importance of those changes is that the more exposure you have to head impacts, the more change you have.”

Young players who did not have concussions were also found to have been impacted by repeated hits. Brain changes were found even after a single season of playing the sport.

>> Read more trending stories

So far, doctors are not cautioning parents against letting their children play football since there are still some unclear areas following the study. Doctors don’t know if these changes will continue as the boys play football. They also don’t know what long-term impact the repeated blows to the head will have on the players.

Still, some parents say the sport is worth the risk — for now — because of the joy it brings to their children. Football also encourages their kids to stay on top of their grades.

Kindra Ritzie-Worthy has two sons who play football. She says they take their footballs everywhere they go. One even sleeps with his ball.

“Worth the risk?” she told NBC. “I say absolutely.”

The study is published in the journal Radiology.

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